The construction industry has been using composite materials (FRPs) for more than 25 years to rehabilitate and strengthen concrete structures in North America. Composite materials such as GFRP reinforcement have gained considerable popularity as mainstream construction materials and provide an excellent alternative to traditional steel.
An increasing number of new and rehabilitation projects are utilizing composites to gain the required tensile strength, corrosion resistance, and ease of construction. Design professionals now realize the need for GFRP as a sustainable strengthening and rehabilitation solution.
It is a complex evaluation and design process to determine the feasibility of construction materials in strengthening critical concrete structures. A good understanding of existing structural conditions as well as the knowledge of proven strengthening techniques is critical. The applicability of GFRP for strengthening s project can be determined by evaluating their advantages, limitations, and unique properties.
As the population of cities increases so does the demand for improved and extended concrete infrastructure. While developing sustainable public infrastructure is essential, long-lasting materials need to be explored for repair and strengthening applications so that the optimal use of national resources can be ensured.
When it comes to strengthening existing structures, indirect costs are a major concern. For example, repairing a bridge can cause considerable inconvenience to bridge users. Ideally, the repair work should be completed in a short period of time. However, heavy materials like steel cause increased indirect costs. For instance, the transportation and installation process of steel involves time and heavy equipment. On the other hand, advanced materials like GFRP fiberglass rebar requires less time and labor to complete a rehabilitation project.
GFRP reinforcement for strengthening applications
High strength continuous glass fibers embedded in a polymer matrix turn GFRP concrete reinforcement into an ideal material for building sensitive concrete members. Glass fiber is the major reinforcing constituent while the polymer matrix protects fibers and transfers loads between fibers. GFRP reinforcing material such as fiberglass bars and plates can be produced in various shapes and sizes.
A number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the strength and viability of composites in concrete strengthening applications. According to recent studies, GFRP materials yielded successful results. Thicker epoxy application in GFRP beams is considered effective in avoiding break-ups. GFRP is a lightweight, flexible, and non corroding material available in various sizes, it’s also far superior to traditional materials.
Surface preparation and the bond between the GFRP system and the existing concrete are two of the important considerations. Besides, corrosion and deterioration of internal reinforcement must be resolved prior to the installation of composite materials.
If you want to learn more about GFRP construction materials and their application in civil engineering projects, visit our website or contact us for more information. TUF-BAR manufactures and sell the highest-quality GFRP rebar and additional supporting fiberglass products such as panels, form ties, and dowels.